A marvel of modern medicine or technology gone awry? The AspireAssist – a device that lets approved patients literally pump food out of their stomach through a hole placed in their midsection – is almost certainly a little of both. And it’s been approved by the USDA. Your diet plan just got so much easier, am I right?
Unsurprisingly, the medical device, made by Pennsylvania-based Aspire Bariatrics, isn’t approved for just anyone. According to CNBC, it’s only intended for “obese people at least 22 years of age who have not been able to lose weight through other approaches, excluding surgery.” And the process doesn’t sound particularly simple: About 20 to 30 minutes after eating, users have to attach the AspireAssist to the “disk-shaped port valve” which has been surgically inserted in their body and then spend 10 minutes draining food, about 30 percent of the calories consumed, out of their stomach. And you probably thought it was gross getting food out of your body the usual way.
After reviewing a clinical trial of 111 people, the FDA determined that patients using the AspireAssisst lost an average of 12.1 percent of their body weight compared to just 3.6 percent lost by a control group. “The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy,” Dr. William Maisel, deputy director for science and chief scientist at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a press release. “Patients need to be regularly monitored by their health-care provider and should follow a lifestyle program to help them develop healthier eating habits and reduce their calorie intake.”
Still, though this new device sounds incredible (in a slightly crazy sort of way), drilling a hole in your body to lose weight does seem like a drastic measure. Either that or the best way ever to cheat at an eating contest. Let’s hope a black market doesn’t develop on the Nathan’s Hot Dog circuit.